Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Marijuana Decriminalization Makes it to Grand Rapids, MI Ballot

On August 14th, the ballot language for the decriminalization of marijuana in Grand Rapids, MI, led by the advocacy group DecriminalizeGR , was approved by the city commissioner and voters in the area will be able to vote the proposal this November. This means that those caught with a small amount of cannabis will only receive a small fine starting at just $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense, and $100 for thee or more offenses. Sense the fines are so small the fines wouldn't cover the cost of prosecution. Over time this measure is expected to decrease or ultimately eliminate the prosecution of marijuana offenses. According to Decriminalize GR this will save Kent county an estimated $2.5 million and according to spokesman Tyler Nickerson,"will refocus shrinking police resources to other pressing needs" and "It’s going to be saving taxpayer dollars and keeping our kids out of jail". This bill will also help prevent the law from haunting young people as being caught with marijuana in Grand Rapids presently has severe penalties that can make life very difficult for one. Grand Rapids isn't the only city tring to decriminalize marijuana but Detroit is as well. Coalition for Safer Detroit being the group leading the measures. In the past Ann Arbor decriminalized small possession of marijuana.
Sources: mLive, Just Say Now


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